Do you ever get those LinkedIn update emails which proclaim that yet another of your contacts has landed a great new job? A job that you would have been qualified for, and would have applied for if only you'd known it existed?
It's not surprising that the jobs they are landing are those you didn't know about -- hidden or unadvertised jobs are where you find the best opportunities. What exactly are hidden jobs? Executive talent agent Debra Feldman says that hidden jobs are those that only come into being when the right candidate presents himself.
That may seem like an odd method of hiring. We all know how the hiring process goes. Employee Jane resigns, then manager Karen calls up the recruiter, who helps write a job description and then the job is posted internally and externally. Right? Well, yes, that happens. And it's not a bad way to find a job. The only problem is that you're competing with numerous other candidates for each one of these jobs. And furthermore, you're trying to change your resume to fit the qualifications that Jane had, regardless of whether those qualities are what the company really needs.
When a hiring authority has an opportunity to restructure and can bring in people and or can promote or have a way to replace a resource, they are happy to know about a candidate in advance. There can also be a situation when there is no vacancy now, but the boss knows there will be one in the future. Additionally, it can be when a company hasn't gotten around to advertising a vacancy for many reasons -- don't have a budget to advertise, budget isn't available for 6 months, or don't want a thousand applicants and prefer to find talent through referrals. These are the hidden jobs.
And these hidden jobs are the difference between finding a job that you can do and landing a job that was made for you. Have you ever been on an interview where it was clear that they already had a candidate in mind and that candidate wasn't you? That's because this person found the hidden job, presented herself to the hiring manager and the manager decided to write the job description around this person's qualifications. It's a losing game for everyone else. (They interview you because the company has policies requiring it, even though it's a thoughtless waste of time for everyone involved, but especially for a candidate who busts her buns for a job she can never have.)
You have to get people to know you and know your skills. This is why networking is so critical. It's not about just keeping up with old coworkers (although that is valuable), it's about taking the time and making the effort to always be job hunting by making new targeted contacts according to Feldman. Who are these connections? Individuals who have the ability to hire you, appreciate you and importantly, will remember you and contact you and recommend you to their connections. "It's not just what you know or even who you know, but who knows, likes, and trusts you and will share job leads with you," Feldman explained.
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